Seasonal Safety: Winter Snow Shoveling

Each season comes with its own set of risks and potential injuries. Out of all the seasons, you may not think of winter as a dangerous one considering more time is spent inside. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Winter is a time that poses unique safety risks related to harsh weather conditions. Luckily, knowing what the risks are can help you to avoid injury during the winter months. 

Is Shoveling Really Dangerous? 

Yes, shoveling snow really is dangerous! Shoveling snow can cause a heart attack to occur due to the lower temperatures that raise your heart rate and the physical strain that shoveling puts on the body. You’re also at risk of slipping and falling due to the icy conditions. A fall can lead to a bone fracture in a variety of areas. The heavy snow you’re shoveling can even cause a back injury if you attempt to lift it incorrectly. The exact risks of shoveling snow can change depending on your age, medical history, and the amount of snow you’re shoveling. 

Preventing Injury While Shoveling

Luckily, these injuries can be prevented! Start by using the correct winter weather gear that provide both warmth and traction against falls. Then, spread ice-melting salt to combat the slippery conditions. As you shovel you should push the snow rather than lifting it. If you have to lift it, lift it in small portions. Shovel at a comfortable pace and stop to take a break if you begin to feel tired or winded. If you’re already at a high risk of heart attack, you should avoid shoveling all together and ask someone else to do it for you instead. 

Seeking Treatment for Winter Injuries in Worcester, MA

If an injury or illness does occur, it’s important to know where to find treatment. Look online to find your nearest urgent care center and walk-in clinic and get familiar with their hours and location. AFC Urgent Care Worcester is the best choice if you suffer a fall or potential bone fracture. Urgent care centers are even able to perform x-ray imaging and diagnose your fracture during the visit. If you believe you may be having a heart attack, you should call 911 right away. Don’t delay getting treatment for your injury or illness this winter, no matter how big or small it may be. Delaying treatment leads to worse injuries in the long-run and extended recovery times. For questions, please call 508-755-4010.